Indian bourses continued their trade in negative terrain in the afternoon session on account of selling in frontline counters taking cues from regional counterparts. Sentiments remained down-beat with Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian’s statement that Economic and political systems in India have 'not developed maturity' for nuanced interventions and tend to take recourse to bans and restrictions. Some concern also came with the GST Council deciding to peg the peak goods and services tax (GST) rate at 40 per cent in the legislation instead of 28 per cent, giving it the flexibility to raise rates without having to reach out to Parliament. Though, the change in the peak rate will not alter the 4-slab rate structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent agreed upon last year for the moment. Besides, depreciation in Indian rupee against the dollar too dampened the mood. Indian rupee was trading lower by 13 paise at 66.84 against the dollar at this point of time as the dollar hovered near a seven-week high against a basket of currencies on expectations of a rate hike at the Fed's March 14-15 policy meeting. In scrip specific development, Alembic Pharmaceuticals was up by around one and half percent after launching desvenlafaxine succinate extended-release tablets 50mg and 100mg by its partner Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc.
On the global front, Asian markets were trading in red, as investors kept a close eye on Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech later in the day for further clues regarding the outlook for rates. South Korea’s Kospi fell above a percent on worries that deployment of a U.S. missile defense system will hurt ties with China, its largest trading partner.
The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 28744.27, down by 95.52 points or 0.33% after trading in a range of 28736.10 and 28847.97. There were 10 stocks advancing against 20 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading in red; the BSE Mid cap index was down by 0.24%, while Small cap index was down by 0.01%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Energy up by 1.05%, Telecom up by 0.91%, Realty up by 0.52%, Utilities up by 0.45% and Oil & Gas up by 0.45%, while FMCG down by 0.70%, Capital Goods down by 0.52%, Auto down by 0.52%, Bankex down by 0.47% and IT down by 0.36% were the losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were Reliance Industries up by 2.90%, GAIL India up by 1.71%, Sun Pharma up by 0.82%, Axis Bank up by 0.66% and Lupin up by 0.50%. On the flip side, Asian Paints down by 1.88%, HDFC down by 1.81%, ITC down by 1.27%, ICICI Bank down by 1.01% and Larsen & Toubro down by 0.91% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), the domestic IT services and BPO industry body, which had deferred issuing growth projection for the next fiscal year (2017-18) in previous month, expects the IT industry to grow at 8-10 percent next financial year.
Although, the association will come out with a final projection in May, chairman CP Gurnani said that nothing had changed since November 2016 to change the projection. Gurnani noted that many domestic IT companies may change their business strategies and regroup themselves owing to newer trends such as increasing automation artificial intelligence, digital data and digital disruption.
He added that the current velocity of business growth would support that 8-10% growth, which may be revised after analysing the fourth quarter (2016-17) numbers. So industry body will comeback in May with forecast after a better understanding of primary data. Further, on the falling hiring trends, he said that the current trend suggests that job accretion will be at best half of its growth in recent years.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 8871.70, down by 28.05 points or 0.32% after trading in a range of 8862.45 and 8898.50. There were 20 stocks advancing against 31 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Bharti Infratel up by 5.35%, Hindalco up by 3.22%, Reliance Industries up by 2.53%, GAIL India up by 1.86% and Grasim Industries up by 1.60%. On the flip side, Asian Paints down by 2.09%, HDFC down by 1.99%, Bosch down by 1.84%, BPCL down by 1.75% and ITC down by 1.49% were the top losers.
All the Asian markets were trading in red, Hang Seng declined 138.54 points or 0.58% to 23,589.53, Nikkei 225 decreased 95.63 points or 0.49% to 19,469.17, Taiwan Weighted slipped 43.59 points or 0.45% to 9,648.21, KOSPI Index lost 23.9 points or 1.14% to 2,078.75, Shanghai Composite was down by 14.01 points or 0.43% to 3,216.02, Jakarta Composite decreased 11.87 points or 0.22% to 5,396.38 and FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI shed 8.21 points or 0.48% to 1,707.46.